I saw this link on a friend's Facebook wall this past week, and I thought, "I can do that!" I hate cleaning. A lot. But I like challenges and sticker charts.
The idea is that you only have to throw out one bag of garbage a day for 40 days. You don't have to clean, or organize, or mop. You just have to throw away some of the crap that's cluttering up your life.
The first day I was in the basement doing laundry while the kids played roller hockey. I looked at the garbage can overflowing with a year's worth of lint and I thought, "I can empty that garbage can. That's all I have to do."
Baby steps. But what difference will one bag make in my house? It couldn't be much. But strangely it was. Emptying that one overflowing heap of lint that I had been looking at for a year (OK, two, but who's counting?) suddenly created a little bit of clean space. It was addictive. Within 20 minuted I had taken 5 bags of crap out of the basement and out to the curb.
I needed a day to recover. Now, granted, the basement isn't clean. It isn't even marginally cleaner. But there are 5 bags less crap in it. I'm not cleaning, after all, I'm just collecting bags of trash to meet the challenge.
Yesterday I decided I would go through the shoe box by the front door and take out all of the shoes the kids outgrew. That's all. I wasn't going to clean or vacuum or mop. Just empty out the outgrown shoes. Which lead to this:
No, that's not all shoes. I can be an overachiever. But the end result is a house that has empty space around the corners. I'm not a big believer in feng shui, but this idea that living with clutter affects your inner peace seems to be true. My house has less tension. I didn't even realize how much all the piles of stuff and art projects had been like living with a radio constantly blaring static.
And I so am going to beat this 40 in 40 thing. I bet I can do 40 in 20. It's been four days and I'm up to 15 bags. Then I'm going to go through and do 40 in 40 again.
Hey, I can be compulsive/addictive/neurotic about a lot of other things in life, why not decluttering?